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59mga
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why multiple woofers?

I know, I know, there's an obvious answer to this question. But it is too simple for me to figure out. I'm shopping for a set of 3-way speakers and I've looked at many - PSB, B&W, Revel and others. All of these brands have models, in various price ranges, with 2 woofers. I'm making the ASSumption that this is just a design choice (or gimmick) and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how the speaker actually sounds. For example: I've listened to a 2 woofer model then a single woofer model, by the same manufacturer, and the single woofer sounds better. Is this a design issue? (Note: The single woofer models, that sounded better, did cost more than the dual woofer models.)

Am I missing something here?

Yiangos
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Re: why multiple woofers?

Mike,you're playing with fire.You are going to get someone we know started again

Kal Rubinson
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Re: why multiple woofers?


Quote:
For example: I've listened to a 2 woofer model then a single woofer model, by the same manufacturer, and the single woofer sounds better. Is this a design issue? (Note: The single woofer models, that sounded better, did cost more than the dual woofer models.) Am I missing something here?

You are not making a relevant comparison, so your conclusion is not supported. You should compare a 1 woofer system with a 2 woofer system at the same price or, better, compare the two from the same manufacturer where he/she offers both in the same line. Otherwise, apples vs. oranges.

Kal

CECE
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Re: why multiple woofers?

The question makes no sense.

CECE
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Re: why multiple woofers?

http://www.legacyaudio.com/2004/whisperis1.htm This thing must sound horrible, look how many woofers it has, look how many mids it has....biggest "gimick" I've seen or heard....Best sounding "gimick" ever that's for sure

Buddha
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Re: why multiple woofers?

Well, before we get the full "henhouse" effect going and DUP lapses back into his manufacterer's commercials, there are certainly reasons for multiple woofers.

First, some people think a smaller diameter woofer can be "faster" than a larger one. As such, some manufacturers will do something like use two 7 inch woofers in lieu of one 10 inch, even though the total radiating area is about the same.

They postulate that multiple smaller woofers will more faithfully recreate the speed of the musical signal better than larger ones.

Also, there are manufacturers who think that a thin frontal profile makes for better imaging, and when they want to include front firing woofers, using smaller drivers will make for a narrower speaker profile, allowing for what they feel will be superior sonics.

Still other manufacturers feel that larger drivers will not yield as uniform a frequency response - i.e. more "breakup modes" than a smaller driver. They feel they can control the behavior of the driver better with smaller diameter cones. They also cite better cone stiffness in smaller drivers than in large ones.

Other manufacturers feel just the opposite of what I just mentioned above, so you have a field ripe for the picking of arguments!

I'd say to listen to the speakers in your budget range and not even care how many woofers. Just shop based on what your ears tell you!

Best wishes.

Yiangos
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Re: why multiple woofers?

Plus,it all depends,amongs other things,from the speaker's
volume.

p.s. Buddha,you are not getting away that easily.i am waiting for the "lighter" photo ! lol

Jan Vigne
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Re: why multiple woofers?

Kal and Buddha have given good advice. Worrying about how many woofers are in the enclosure or how big the woofer is puts you squarely in the "how loud will my car stereo play" crowd. Or, possibly, in the market for some Legacy speakers.

The basic reasons for multiple woofers have been well covered though I would say two 7" woofers certainly will give greater effective surface area than a single 10" woofer. If the speaker system is well designed, the two drivers' effective surface area will actually sum to slightly more than double their physical dimensions. And further, looking at the diameter of the driver to determine its "speed" is similar to looking at the size of a car to determine how quickly it will cover the 1/4 mile. Here's an article by a well known driver manufacturer giving their opinion of woofer "speed"; http://www.adireaudio.com/Files/TechPapers/WooferSpeed.pdf

You might also consider speakers that are designed as 2.5 way or 3.5 way designs when listening to systems with multiple woofers. Here's a review of such a design which gives a good description of the logic behind the principle. http://stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/904spendor/

But the bottom line still boils down to; unless you are buying the speakers to show to your friends rather than use to listen to music, you needn't concern yourself with anything about the speaker other than whether you like the way it reproduces the music you prefer. Of course, you knew that.

But when you say the single woofer design sounded better, you are opening yourself up to interpretation. "Better" is a subjective term which suggests you have determined what is more desirable to you at the moment and what you consider as "better" might not be what some others would prefer. When assessing what is "better" do be aware of flaws in your listening experience also. Unless the dealer gives you a single-pair speaker demo (pulling all unused speakers from the room) with both speakers typically situated in the same location of the same room, connected to all the same equipment, you can easily be fooled by dealer controlled variables such as speaker placement, room choice or choice of ancillary equipment. Every dealer recognizes at least one of their rooms as sounding better than another due to room shape/dimensions or position in the building or some other peculiarity of the various spaces. If the shop has some control over the store layout, they will try to make that their high(est) end room. Not many dealers are set up to offer truly professional speaker demos now days and without all things being equal other than, in this case, the speakers, there really is no way to decide what a (speaker) comparison is showing you beyond what the shop might want you to think.

59mga
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Re: why multiple woofers?

I sure did step in it, this time

Yiangos: I had donned my asbestos suit prior to hitting the send button.

Kal: I was able to compare 1 and 2 woofer speakers in the same model/brand. The dual woofers did have more bass but sometimes weren't as clear as the single woofer.

DUP: What took you so long to respond? No I am not refering to speakers that are top-of-the-line audiophile speakers, like the ones to which you refer. I'm looking at entry level audiophile gear that us common folks can afford.
Thanks for the sugestion, though.

Buddha: I am, somewhat, familiar with differences between smaller and larger woofers. Pros and cons to each. As you suggest, I let my ears, and wallet, do the choosing.

JV: I have, as you suggested, loked at 2.5 and 3.5 systems...nice choices in both categories. The Spendor S5E and B&W 704 were both impressive. Beings I have been dealing with 2 different audiophile dealers (both small single shop operations) I had the oppurtunity to sit alone in a, fairly, acoustically neutral room, which was great.

On some brands there was a distinct difference between single and dual woofers, in others the difference was minimal if any. As most of you have suggested...let my ears do the choosing.

Thanks, folks, for your input. It's appreciated, as always.

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